Friend Files #17 – Ariana Whalen
Posted on August 20, 2015
Friend Files is a feature I’ve added to Away With Words, this being the seventeenth installment. Past installments appear under the “Friend Files” tag on my blog. I will be interviewing a friend of mine and showcasing why they are a friend to me and what I like about them, and also a mini-interview (five questions) that detail what they think of me. It’s a way to acknowledge my friends out there and what they’re up to and also introduce them to my larger group of friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who might be interested in reading.
Today, I will be talking about Ariana Whalen. Before I get into what I think of her, here is my mini-interview with Ariana (exchanged over Facebook) where she jotted down just a few thoughts:
ARIANA WHALEN’S FRIEND FILES INTERVIEW
ME: Give me some details about your life.
ARIANA WHALEN: Hmm. Well, I work at Starbucks and I like to think I make the world slightly less homicidal one cup at a time. I’m sort of a workaholic – I am taking fifteen credits this upcoming semester, and I made sure I could still work 40 hours each week. I love to explore the outdoors. I wish I could get paid to do that, actually – not like hardcore shit – but just leisure hiking, trying out new food, and finding new places. That’s not really a job, though. So, I continue to work at the ‘bucks while I work my way through school. I have a larger family, and I love each and every one of them, but they are all crazy. My family was once compared to a Wes Anderson film.
ME: How exactly did we meet?
ARIANA WHALEN: Definitely through the ‘bucks (Starbucks) in Saco! Maine Starbucks are a complete 180 from the rest of the country. They are a breed of their own. I remember thinking, “Holy shit, this place is crazy.” It was summer and all of the Canadians were flooding the Old Orchard area, flocking to Starbucks like the beacon of energy that it can be. I remember you being ridiculously calm about us being super understaffed, and me thinking that you had just shut down or something – that you would eventually come to your senses and realize that our situation was insane. I would realize later, and have come to appreciate, that you literally do not care about the crazy aspects of our job. Because it is just coffee and people are going to be happy or mean regardless of what you do. That’s their choice. We just do the best we can. I hope I’ve been able to steal some of that.
ME: What is one good memory you have involving me?
ARIANA WHALEN: Hmm. Well, there are a couple that come to mind, but I think my favorite is Wine Bar Night. Admittedly, I don’t remember all of Wine Bar Night. #TequilaProblems. However, I do remember drinking a bunch of tequila with our coworkers. Then, meeting you at Muse, and all of us just being absolutely ridiculous, yelling all the way across the room, “Joeeee!” And you were relatively nonplussed over our states while the entire rest of the room was just oozing judgement. I remember eating pizza afterwards with you and Alli (a mutual friend and former co-worker) and thinking how I couldn’t have ended up in a better situation. Oh! And I remember falling right on my back and having my painting smash into my face and someone helped me up. Maybe it was you. I’m not sure. I do remember my spine felt suffused with the cold sidewalk. That’s probably one of my favorite sort of memories. Sort of because my memory of it is a little shoddy.
ME: Why exactly are we still friends?
ARIANA WHALEN: Well, you can’t get rid of me until you quit. And even then, I’d probably pester you from time to time. I enjoy smart, talented humans and try and keep them around. You obviously fall in that category and are on my twelve year old level of “that’s what she said” jokes. Alicia (mutual friend and co-worker) and I will occasionally say something, say, “That’s what she said” and then be really bummed out that you weren’t there for it.
ME: Anything you want me to plug?